Artful Gathering: Dreaming in Color

Wowsers! I just got my first look at the Artful Gathering online catalog of classes for the summer – this is a fantastic group of creative artists that I’ve managed to hook up with – thanks, Zinnia! The AG page is getting over 13,000 his a week even before classes start. Just looking at the catalog gives me loads of ideas for my own workshops at the Studio. (Steal like an artist!) My first class is on page 12 of the catalog – and I’m so glad that my pal Michelle Belto is joining the faculty for the second session – take a look at all the cool stuff!




Remembering Pete

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a concert tribute to Pete Seeger, folk singer and activist, who departed this earthly realm on January 27th. The Inner City Coffee House was the perfect venue – lots of old and new friends were there to cheer on Inner City founders Patti and Rod Radle, with Bryce Milligan, Rudi Harst, and Tom Williams as they sang Seeger’s old favorites. The crowd joined in – it was an evening of nostalgia and hope (and trying to remember all the words to “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.”) Bryce Milligan got in a fracker verse – always something to care about 🙂

Now I’m all inspired to share the love at today’s workshop on Exploring Air-Dry Clay. Who knew you could do so many sculptural forms without a kiln? I do, now! Here’s a small piece I put together this morning for the workshop. It’s all air dry clay, fun and easy:


Workshop preview excitement

I *really* am excited – Michelle Belto and I firmed up the plans and processes for our next all-day workshop on Saturday, March 29th. It’s called ROBE & RUNE – we’ll work with encaustic monoprints and shard faces and construct a lovely freestanding garment-like sculpture with layers of meaning, symbols and design.

I had never done encaustic wax monoprints on rice paper before today,  but the paper is transformed into a beautiful translucent panel of color and light that can be torn and manipulated. There’s no brush-layering or scraping involved. Wow! You can see the prototype that I did in the pictures below. I’ll be posting more photos and details, but if you’d like a jump on registration, go to this page on my site – for tuition and lunch and all materials, the fee is just $135. It may go up once we figure out our materials cost – LOL – so reserve your spot now if you’re interested. I’m so excited!!

rr1 rr2 rr3

Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. and Heather Ash Amara at the Studio

Talk about an enlightening weekend – authors, teachers and friends Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. (whose father wrote the beloved Four Agreements: A Toltec Wisdom Book) and TOCI founder Heather Ash Amara were our guests on the San Antonio stop of their spring speaking tour. The did their live webcast from the studio last night – hope you got to see it.

Afterwards, I asked Miguel to talk to SHARDS subscribers about art and the acceptance of our work – his answers are interesting and surprising. The bad news is that our work will never be accepted by everyone – but the good news is that we’ll learn a lot! I wish the sound were better (the iPhone was my only camera), but Miguel’s words are wise – and sometimes surprising!

At the end of this post, you’ll find a link to a great short video with Heather Ash on Living the Four Agreements. Thanks, guys, for sharing your practical wisdom with us!

Heather Ash Amara on Living the Four Agreements




Shard journeys and unfolding myths

Wow. I was just invited to speak at The Association for the Study of Women and Mythology (ASWM) 2014 National Conference here in San Antonio on March 28-30. How perfect! (Thank you, Susan Carlin and Sid Reger.) One of the great delights in my life is hearing from creative women all over the world who are using my Shard Faces in their own work, transforming them into the most amazing Spirit Dolls and unfolding their own myths. Here are some recent messages with photos:

From Vicki in Brisbane, Australia: It’s my first go at making one . . .she turned out absolutely beautiful and I was really happy with the outcome 🙂









From Karen in Washington State: I got the faces yesterday and started on my mermaid this afternoon. She is almost done! Her neck & body are all one branch and the arms are a 2nd forked branch I attached to her back. Working with your faces has opened the floodgates of creativity for me, I am having such a good time working with them.

mermaid        And I loved this note and picture from Vicky in Canada: I just had to show you the photo that my boyfriend took of my Spirit Doll this afternoon. The last sliver of sunlight was shining on her before disappearing behind our building. The star in the picture is actually captured in the crown that is on the full moon’s face. I actually cried because I was so touched by the picture and my Spirit Doll.


Shine on, Mythmakers!

We Felt So Good

What a weekend at the Studio – I’ll let the videos do most of the “talking,” but the whole experience of learning to make felted constructions was just incredible. Jill Scher is an extraordinary teacher. I learned so much (as did we all) and came away with a fascination and respect for this process and the fiber artists who are felters. It’s such a tactile and color-rich craft – the wool roving is soft and beautiful and there are countless variations for using it in two and three-dimensional pieces.

Video one ( just below) shows the first day in which we made wet-felted wool scarves, and video two (at the bottom) shows us felting wool into a silk substructure. I hope you enjoy the videos – being there in person was pretty cool too! And, PS – I’ve invited Jill back in November – so stay tuned!

Celtic Spirits

The Persian poet, Rumi, said “Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” There was a lot of that going on at the Studio yesterday as the Celtic Spirit Doll workshop participants unfolded the most wonderful, mythical creations. We were amazed at the beauty and variety of these little sculptural artworks! You’ll see what I mean in the video, below –

It was a lot of fun – now I’m getting ready for the fiberart felting weekend with Jill Scher – lots going on! Oh, and the winner of Alison Schockner’s lovely little heart pin is Judi Daughety – thanks for subscribing, Judi. I’ll see you soon with your gift! Happy new week, everyone.

Workshop, and Friday Freebie on Saturday

So, it’s summer-ish here in mercurial San Antonio – a beautiful day in our neighborhood. First, a quick note – I just had a cancellation for tomorrow’s Celtic Spirit Doll workshop (a friend fell victim to the flu, boo) so if you want the eighth spot, email me quick. It’s from 3-5 tomorrow and it’s the usual (amazingly cheap) tuition of $55 with all materials included. And libations. And grub.

And now, for the Friday – er, Saturday Freebie! It’s a timely and beautiful little felt-and-lace brooch by my talented friend, Alison Schockner – perfect for Valentine’s Day!alison Alison’s creations are legendary – I have two of her wonderful sarong jackets and love them both. You can see her work here on her website. She’s so productive, and every piece that she makes radiates the fun and joy that she shares in her creative life and work. If you are a SHARDS subscriber by midnight tomorrow night, you will be in the drawing for this lovely art-to-wear brooch.

Finally, if the nice weather has you wanting to kick up your heels, drive out to the old Quihi Dance Hall and Gun Club tonight. My band is playing our annual benefit for Inner City Development. It’s a lot of fun for a great cause – here’s the info – YEE HAWWW! I hope I can stay awake past 10:00 p.m.!